Montana Agricultural Business Association is the only association in Montana that is focused specifically on the needs of our business membership. We provide state and federal legislative oversight, executive branch agency activity updates, up to date information in crisis situations, and tools for compliance with the multiple state and federal laws that govern our business operations. We are proud that our membership is well informed and professional business men and women. Through this network of professionals MABA will continue to lead the state in protecting our interests and promoting sound science and fact based decisions by growers, businesses and the public.
What has MABA done for you and your business this past year?
- Lobbied on behalf of MABA Membership in the Montana Legislature on issues including:
- Defeated proposed ban on the use of neonicotinoids
- Passage of the “seed bill” which makes it clear that local governments can’t regulate what is planted.
- Amended the Department of Agriculture bill to address concerns on pesticide regulation and to ensure private applicator training is conducted by MSU Extension
- Spearheaded a biotech education campaign in conjunction with other statewide agricultural grower groups.
- Been actively engaged in educating members about 811 Call Before You Dig requirements.
- Launched the biannual “Growing Montana” magazine.
- Been actively engaged and participated in discussions on:
- EPA Pesticide Applicator Rule Proposal
- Process Safety Management and OSHA interpretation of application to ag retailers.
- Intake Diversion Lawsuit and potential impacts to members who provide services to growers in this area.
- Pollinators and Colony Health and the DriftWatch and BeeCheck programs
- Montana Department of Agriculture pesticide program funding
- Montana Department of Agriculture pesticide points acquisition process
- Continue to use MABA website at www.mtagbiz.org to better demonstrate the professional nature of Montana’s Agricultural Businesses.
Key challenges and opportunities that we see for this coming year are:
- Protecting members’ interests in Congress, including changes being proposed in the Clean Water Act, Transportation Issues, challenges with OSHA interpretations, Biotechnology, and Neonicotinoids.
- Helping independent and independent coop retail and applicator members comply with OSHA, EPA and DOT regulations through our partnership with the Asmark Institute. (You can check them out at www.asmark.org)
- Working with our national counterparts (Crop Life America, The Fertilizer Institute and Agriculture Retailers Association) and other states to stop unrealistic pesticide buffer strips and other restrictions being imposed by court decisions under the Endangered Species Act;
- Developing an educational program on the opportunities neonicotinoids provide to Montana agriculture;
- Conducting educational seminars throughout the year including our Annual Convention, the Sugar Beet Symposium and the Institute of Barley and Malt Sciences Symposium;
- Continue to show our support through written and verbal testimony of the Montana Agriculture Experiment Stations and MSU Extension Service;
- Continued work with other agriculture and business associations as well as the MSU College of Agriculture;
- Working to make the 811 Call Before You Dig program efficient and useable by MABA members;
Helping members in any way we can.